Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Stuff

Happy (almost) Halloween!!

My sweet friend, Jodi, shared this AMAZING recipe, and I thought that all of you beautiful people deserved to have it, too. Speaking of amazing things, Jodi is an incredibly talented photographer and graphic designer, so you should also hop on over to Leapfrog Creations and check out her site. Thanks, Jodi, for the delicious recipe!

Pumpkin Stuff

1 15 oz. of canned pumpkin
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup of sugar, regular white
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 Eggs (slightly beaten)

Mix all of that in a bowl, pour in a greased 9 X 13 pan

On top of that spread the following 3 ingredients below: Do not make the cake as directed, just crumble the whole cake mix, just powder stuff, on top of the pumpkin mixture. You can add the pecans if you want. I didn't and it was still awesome. But I am sure it would be great with them, because they would be on the top and they would get all toasted up YUM!! Yes, I said just the powder stuff, just trust me, it will work. On top of the cake mix and nuts, as evenly as you can, pour on the 2 sticks of butter. If there are some areas that are still powdery, it works out, so don't worry. 

1 Yellow Butter Cake Mix
1 cup chopped Pecans (optional)
2 sticks of butter, melted

Bake in a 350 oven for 50 - 60 minutes

Frosting: Make while the pumpkin stuff is baking

1 8 oz. block of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups of Cool Whip (thawed)

Mix these 3 ingredients together. I got out the electric mixer to make it smooth, but the recipe didn't call for that. After the Pumpkin Stuff has cooled, smear the frosting all over. Quite delicious still warm, but I think even better cold, the next day. Store in the fridge, if there is anything left.

*Photo courtesy of Google Images

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wherein I Grovel and Get Irritated

Since I told my husband that I was going to dedicate my book to Bono, I suppose that I should at the very least dedicate this Writer Wednesday post to him. 

Honey, this one's for you. (And, I already know what YOU would do in the following situation, which is one of the reasons why I love you and married you and had your babies.)

As I sat (kid-free thanks to the wonderful husband I have who works very hard so that my kiddos can go to preschool 3 days a week and give mommy some free time to write - hence the dedication of this post and POSSIBLY my future novel if Bono does something to annoy me, which I doubt) in one of those big cushy chairs at Starbucks this morning, typing  furiously away on the first draft of my book, all of a sudden this dude sits down in the other cushy chair across from me and starts talking RATHER LOUDLY on his cell phone. 

I realize that I am in a public place, and that people are certainly entitled to talk, laugh, make noise, what have you. In times such as these, I usually just pull out my headphones and turn on the music. However, I already had the headphones on and I could STILL hear this guy talking. But that's just it, he wasn't just talking. I believe he was delivering a full on monologue, with hand gestures to boot. 

Not one to be confrontational, I just gave him a few light "Seriously, dude?" glances, hoping he would take the hint and either a) leave or b) move to where I couldn't hear him. No such luck. He continued on with his VERY IMPORTANT, VERY LOUD conversation for another ten minutes. I looked around, to find someone else who might be sharing the same "Really? This guy is serious?" sentiments and possibly somewhere else to sit, but no one else seemed to notice, and the only available seats were outside in the cold. So there I sat in my plush chair, irritated that this person had not only caused me to stop writing, but forget what I had been writing about altogether. 

Has this ever happened to you? What would you do in a situation like this? Would you have asked the person to move? To speak more quietly? Would you have moved yourself outside, exposed to the elements just for the sake of silence? 

On an unrelated note: I finally joined a critique group! I'm VERY excited (and nervous) about it. Hi Jessie, Lois, and Patti!

Monday, October 26, 2009

This mommy is tired. It's been a long day, preceded by a couple of long weeks. This weekend went by faster than me through a bag of Funyuns (and now I want a bag of Funyuns). We were elbow deep in pumpkin carvings, fall festivals, and t-ball, all of which were very fun and also very exhausting.

So here I sit, staring at this computer screen, and what I really want to do is turn it off and go to bed. Why don't I? Well, for one thing, I want to stick to this posting schedule, because nobody likes a lazy blogger. Second, I know that the minute I close my eyes, SOMEBODY will need SOMETHING, and I will have to pry myself out of this cozy bed. There is nothing worse than JUST falling asleep and then being awakened suddenly, except for maybe that sound when someone scrapes their fork on their plate (raise your hand if you just got the willies, because I sure did.). 

On a precious note, the boys and I were sitting in the car this morning waiting for the carpool line at their preschool to start moving, and my oldest says to me, "Mommy, I love you this much," and he holds his arms open wide. "I love you that much, too," I said in return. Not to be outdone, my youngest says, "No, Cody...DIS MUCH," and he holds his little arms out. So sweet.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Love It/Hate It

It's Fun Friday, so I thought I'd share another episode of Love It/Hate It!

Love It:
- That Blogger finally decided to cooperate so that I could post (albeit late) today.
- That it's Friday!
- That the hubby's knee is healing and he's getting better every day.
- That the leaves are changing and providing a gorgeous view out my back window.
- That my kids' number one choice for music in the car is this King's of Leon song.
- That I'm thisclose to getting into my bathtub for a nice long soak!

Hate It:
- That my throat kind of hurts and I could be getting sick...AGAIN.
- That my fairy Godmother-in-Law has to leave on Sunday :(
- That my son's t-ball game is at 9:00 in the morning on a Saturday...groan.

Enjoy the weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Desperately Seeking...Something!

While in the (painstaking, frustrating, and in the same breath GLORIOUS) process of writing my novel, I would like to find some writing jobs that might actually, oh, I don't know...PAY ME SOMETHING :) I've tried looking for freelance work on sites like Craigslist, but that seems to have gotten me nowhere fast.

I've thought about copywriting, writing for magazines that interest me, and entering some short story contests. (On that note, my bloggy friend Megan Rebekah did a blog about short stories today, which I found very helpful...maybe you will too.)

My question to you, dear writer readers, is: Do you write for fun, for money, or both? Those of you who write for money - can you share where/how you find those writing jobs? If any of you out there have any ideas on copywriting, magazine writing, or short stories, feel free to share your insights. 

*Hubby update: Getting stronger every day, and is back to work tomorrow (yikes!). Again, thank you for your prayers and well wishes!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Fairy Godmother-In-Law

Since it is Mommy Monday, this post is dedicated to the woman who birthed the wonderful - albeit half-crippled - man that is my husband. 

As you all probably know by now, Mike had (his fifth) knee surgery this past Wednesday, and it was a rough couple of days post-op. That is all I'm really at liberty to say at this point, since I'm from the old school where, "If you can't say something nice, then you shouldn't say it at all".

So, this is me. Not. Saying. Anything.

What I AM at liberty to say, is that my mother-in-law is nothing short of an ANGEL. This woman has singlehandedly organized every cabinet and closet in my house, washed every dirty dish (BY HAND mind you - even though there is a perfectly good dishwasher mere inches from the sink), and has successfully slain the beast that is my laundry. She even managed to find all of its evil beast spawn (that may or may not have been lurking in my garage) and kill it, too. 

I truly don't know what I would've done without her help this last week, she is a trooper!

For those of you who offered prayers and encouraging words, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. He is doing MUCH better yesterday and today, and for that I am truly grateful to God. He still has quite a road ahead of him as far as recovery, but I think this surgery finally did the trick, and he'll be good as new in no time. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I really haven't fallen off the face of the earth...really.

This past weekend was my 10 year high school reunion in Florida (yep, that's me giving you a hint at my age...gasp!). I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends and having a MUCH NEEDED visit with my family.

So, I'm back now, and today my husband had his 1,2,3,4...5th! knee surgery. I'm going to start buying birthday cakes for these occasions, because I think that would make it just a little bit more bearable, don't you?

So, what does all this have to do with writing? Nothing. Wait, no, that's not true. It has EVERYTHING to do with writing. Because remember that whole Story of the Five Balls? Well, I've had to put it into practice this week. Writing is one of those balls that will bounce, and my family is one that can break. 

All that to say, posting will be light until I can get my man back to good health! I hope you'll stick around and not forget about lil' ol' me!!! And if you do, well you can safely assume I'll cyber stalk you until you come back! ;P

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Heart Bono...and James Patterson

I'm still buzzing from last night's U2 concert. A-MAZING.

I might've at one point said to my husband, "Forget what I said about me dedicating my first book to you and the kids. I'm dedicating it to BONO." That man's voice makes me want to cry. If I could pinpoint what my perfect idea of heaven would be like, it would be Bono singing. ALL. THE. TIME. Have I mentioned I love Bono? BONOBONOBONO!

Ok, I'm done now.

Bono. Sorry.

I know I have a useful post SOMEWHERE in my brain...I just can't seem to locate it.

Ah, yes. I remember now.

I just finished reading James Patterson's Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas. Great book. This book has very special meaning to me for a particular reason, but I'm going to wait until I get my novel published to tell THAT special story. :)

It seems I've read post after post lately about finding the right balance in our lives as writers. This next little excerpt pertains not only to writers, but to everyone I think.  I'll let Patterson tell it, because he's PATTERSON for goodness' sake. 

It's the story of the five balls.

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you're keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls -- family, health, friends, integrity -- are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered. And once you truly understand the lesson of the five balls, you will have the beginnings of balance in your life.

I'm not sure where Patterson got this idea, but man, is it a good one or what? It struck me as so incredibly true! 

What about you? Can you relate to this lesson?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I think I at least deserve a t-shirt

I survived the weekend!!! And I owe much of that success to my sweet husband who allowed me to stay in bed and rest ALL DAY on Saturday to nurse a sinus headache SO BAD that I thought my eyes were going to jump out of their sockets.

Although, after lounging around most of the weekend trying to get better, I ignored something VERY. VERY. IMPORTANT.
Here's a bird's eye view for you.

And here's a measurement.

That's right...18 inches. That's a foot and a half of laundry! And it's probably about four feet wide. Ugh.

I have to say, that's even AFTER that sweet of husband of mine did this.

I like to imagine that the lost socks in my dryer evolve into shirts, shorts, and underwear. That's the only logical explanation for the excess of laundry. That, or the fact that I LOATHE laundry...yep, maybe that's a better reason.

So, if you need me, I'll just be drowning somewhere in that mound of clothes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Not So Fun Friday

I woke up this morning with a terrible sore throat, so I dragged myself to the doctor's office with my oldest (and sickest) child in tow. She informed me (after a rather nasty throat swab) that I do not have strep throat (hooray!) but that I do have a massive sinus infection (oh, crap). 

The pharmacist at Publix was all, "You again?" and I was all, "Yeah, me again. NOW GIVE ME MY DRUGS AND NO ONE GETS HURT." 

So right now I'm just praying that my youngest son will not catch what his big brother and Mommy have, because I don't think I can handle it at this point. 

I won't leave you on such a sour note...after all, my goal with this blog is to make you laugh. So I hope you do when you watch this clip that my friend Allyson sent me this morning. I've seen it before, but it never fails to make me laugh out loud. 

Have a lovely weekend - and may you all stay healthy!!! 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Test Me Thursdays

I know what you're thinking. "She's already bucked her Mon-Wed-Fri schedule." One, you're right, and two, I will reiterate that this is MY blog, and I'll write if I want to (and possibly cry if I want to as well). ;)

Today's happenings were just too good (and by "good" I don't mean awesome, I mean too terrifying and juicy) not to share. 

My four year old, Cody, had a bit of a cough yesterday, but was otherwise a fully functioning preschooler. The cough proceeded to worsen throughout the day yesterday and into the night, and I believe my husband and I clocked a total of four hours of sleep due to the ungodly sounds coming from his bedroom as he tried to sleep between coughing fits. He eventually ended up in our bed on my side (I slept in our guest room downstairs) and proceeded to wet it, too. Awesome.

 This morning, I took Cody to the doctor and found out that he has the beginnings of pneumonia (YIPPPEEEE). The doctor was confident we caught it early enough to avoid any major drama. I breathed a sigh of relief that we caught it early, and that it's not the dreaded swine flu. With a prescription for an antibiotic and a breathing treatment in hand, we walked out of the office and got into the car. 

We drove to the pharmacy at our nearby grocery store to get our prescriptions, me asking specifically for them to add bubble gum flavoring to the antibiotic, because -- like most children -- my son "dislikes" taking medicine. We killed twenty minutes by getting a cookie in the bakery and saying hello to the live lobsters in the tank of the seafood section. We played "I Spy" until I wanted to gouge my little eyes out. The pharmacist took pity on me and filled my order in about 15 minutes instead of 20.

We got home and I managed to get both boys changed out of their doctor's office visit clothes (which I was convinced were full of swine flu germs) and into some fresh ones. I then pull out the new medications to give Cody his first doses. I open the antibiotic and suck some into the dispenser to give it to him. He immediately resists and runs away. I leave the bottle open on the table and chase after him. I think you know where this is going.

After very little coaxing, Cody takes his medicine and I proudly walk myself back into the kitchen, patting myself on the back for my medicine administering expertise. I hear Tyler, my two year old, say, "Mmmm, Mommy. Deeewishus." (That's "delicious" in toddler speak) "What's delicious, honey?" I ask, turning around to look at my son. Only then do I notice the pink around the lips and the HALF EMPTY BOTTLE OF ANTIBIOTIC in his chubby hands.

Panic. Shrieking. Running around like a crazy person trying to find the phone. 

I call my doctor's office immediately, thinking I've poisoned my child. They say it should be no big deal but to call poison control anyway. I do, and the woman at poison control tells me he should be just fine, but that he might have an upset tummy from it. I have orders to keep him fed and hydrated. 

Crisis averted.

So if you're wondering why I'm not posting for months on end after this post, it's because The Department of Children and Families has reported me and I've been taken off to jail. Don't worry, I'll get the hubby to post my mugshot...I know you'd want to see that.